What I Ate Today

By Nikki Aaron on Apr 19, 12 01:35 AM in Culture

If there's one thing that unites the Chinese nation, it's a love of food. Upon arrival in any city in China, the air is filled with an aroma of food and exotic scents. Rather than just refueling the body, mealtimes are regarded as the most important times of the day. All work stops for lunch and dinner times, and it is considered highly inappropriate to skip a meal due to work commitments. In China, no business deal is finalized nor relationship formed until you have sat down and shared a meal - more often than not, washed down with a few shots of Baijiu, a paraffin-like tasting strong Chinese liquor. Food is so important to the Chinese people, that conversations are initiated with a casual, "have you eaten?", rather than the western counterpart of "nice weather we're having" or "how's it going?"


With this in mind, it's unsurprising that among the rows and rows of restaurants, a number of entrepreneurs are keen to locate a niche market. Low and behold, the themed restaurant landed. Although the older generations of Chinese prefer to stick to traditional Chinese restaurants, teenagers and young adults, possibly in a bid to rebel from their disciplined school and work lives, are keen to try something new and unusual. So, as disturbed as I was to come across a restaurant that had a chosen the universally-acknowledged unappetizing theme of poo poo as its premise, I nevertheless found myself inside the restaurant, perched upon a toilet seat and browsing the poo-inspired menu.


With dishes such as a beef curry served in a tabletop commode, and mashed potato swirled into a turd-shape and served in a urinal, I had clearly entered some kind of doodoo dream-world. Even my drink came in a curly-poo cup...I was relieved to discover the content was orange juice. Chocolate milkshake may have been too much for my reserved English insides to handle. However, while the food looked very good, the concept of eating out of a commode left me feeling quite uneasy. Nevertheless, the House of Poo Poo restaurant was bustling with potty young Chinese diners enthusiastically licking the toilet bowl clean. However friendly the staff are and no matter how many cuddly poo toys decorate the walls, a walk on the stool-side of dining left me feeling like ****.


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Nikki Aaron

Nikki Aaron - English language teacher uncovering life in Beijing
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